Kuching, I’m in love

I’m finally going to blog about my Kuching trip a few weeks ago! These are only 1/3 of the pictures I took though. I’ve also been waiting to blog after Ramadhan cos 90% of my pictures are of food wtf

Anyway I really really enjoyed Kuching. Not as much as I loved Sabah, but a very close contender. The more I go to Borneo, the more I feel like I belong there more than in KL. I always feel like if any place is the true epitome of what I imagine Malaysia is all about, it’ll be East Malaysia. The perfect harmony between very different kinds of people, the breathtaking sights, the serenity with a slight but good blend of chaos, and the hunger for food and nature.

I was expecting lots of REAL cats, but I only saw one small kitteh the entire time I was there. All the other cats I saw were either statues or souvenirs -__-

The first thing I did when I was there was get my hands on some Kolo Mee. How can I not!!! I need to eat THE real kolo mee which I’ve been dreaming of ever since I planned to go Kuching! Will post pictures of food at the end of the post cause there are so many that I need to focus on them properly, also need to build up momentum for the climax!

The waterfront, which is one of my favorite places there. I really hope the river of life in KL will end up becoming like this cos it’s so beautiful! I heard it used to be quite dangerous here though, since the river separates the kampung from the city, and apparently people used to come over to rob tourists all the time..

The spectacular DUN building on the other side of the river, which probably costs more than it should and is placed ironically next to the atap houses of the kampung

If you do go to Kuching, make sure you take the sunset cruise down the river! It’s about RM19 for an hour and is super worth it. The sunset here wasn’t amazing for the first few days but we were lucky to catch the cruise at a good time to see this breathtaking view. The hour-long ride was also a great time to unwind since it’s so calming to hear nothing but the sound of the boat wading through the water and to feel the light breeze of the Borneo wind. That’s if a crocodile doesn’t try to jump on your boat and eat you up.

You can also get a sampan to cross the river for 40 cents, which we did a few times just for the joy of being on the sampan. I have decided that if I do move to Kuching and if I was rich, I’d buy a sampan and row up and down the river all day long *writes it on my Bucket List

Right across the river, there’s a kilang kek lapis that’s called….kilang kek lapis I think hahaha. Bought a few loaves here and loved them!

If you want to know which camera I used to take these pictures.. (an excuse. just so i can post camwhore pictures without looking like i’m posting them without a purpose wtf)

It’s an old Canon G10. There’s the G12 now which is super duper awesome cos it has the rotating screen which you can use to take a million pictures of yourself!!!! *hyperventilates

Carpenter Street, which is right behind Main Bazaar (across the waterfront). Right near this arch, there’s this awesome place that serves amazing pork satay!

I met up with Melissa and Daphne, who were extremely kind to bring me around for the entire day! We were at Bing Coffee, which is a very nice new-age coffee place from Kuching :) Bing, come to KL please, I’ve been looking for a nice hangout cafe here that’s not Starbucks or Coffee Bean but has better coffee than Oldtown. We need our own Malaysian breed of chill out coffee places, and more brownie points for you if you have board games and old mystery novels!

Tiramisu drink from Bing! Which is nice but a little too sweet for me

We went to Damai beach and stayed there for a night just to get away from the city. The beach is nice, but a little too deserted for our liking. We were supposed to stay at Damai Puri for two nights, which was scarily quiet and eerie, so we checked out the next day :( There were only like two other groups besides us, and there was absolutely nothing to do or eat.

It’s good that the Cultural Village is really close by the hotel, so we spent the next morning there!

This is uhh..rumah melanau *smart ass captain obvious

This is in Rumah Bajau I think. I saw the fire burning (fire burning fire burning on the dancefloor #lame) and asked the woman there what they’re cooking since theres nothing on top of the fire. She pointed to the top of the house, and said in a hush hush voice “see those skulls? we need to keep the fire to chase the evil spirits away from them”

Then I looked up and saw 3 skulls looking grimly at me.

!!!!!!!!

*pees in pants

We went for the cultural show next and this bottomless dude asked me up on stage to demonstrate the use of the blowpipe  -___- I was umm..a very good blower.

looking very pleased with self haha

Random: I’ve decided that I like this minimalist makeup the most. Just eyeliner on top and mascara :D I’m a grown woman now!

OKAY

TIME TO POST FOOD PICTURES!!!!

Are you excited?? Cause I am! These are the best Kuching food I’ve eaten, food that my kind guides brought me to eat, and food that I’ve found after tons of research. Most of them are also non-halal, sorry!

People in Kuching LOVE their food, that’s all they ever talk about and the pride is a little overwhelming at first. Whenever I tell Kuchingites I’m going to Kuching, they’d be all “you HAVE to eat this from this place, make sure you try this from that place, oh also this this that this YUMS”. My expectations of the food obviously were raised way beyond the bar, and I got very disappointed at first because I mean…I’ve found similar, if not better food in West Malaysia anyway.

But! Thank god I had amazing friends to bring me around and I found better food after that :) Otherwise I’d always moan about being deceived by Kuchingites for years to come. Thanks for bringing me around Eve, Kenny, Melissa and Daphne!

1. Kolo Mee

This is the first bowl of Kolo Mee I had and also the best. Kenny brought me to this place called KY Cafe at Sekama. If you’re staying near the city center, you can’t walk here so get a cab or something!

I had kolo mee at ten different places after that but this is definitely still the best. There are a few places at Jalan Pandungan that are okay too, but just not as good.

This is the other famous one at the Carpenter Street and Bishop Gate junction, it’s at a restaurant called Min Joo or something. Apparently it’s supposed to take up to an hour for them to serve you, but I was lucky cause I went around 2+pm and it was fairly empty. I was also alone, so maybe the uncle took pity of me and served me in ten minutes :D

2. Sarawak Laksa

Forgot to take picture, but surprisingly this is not one of my favorite dishes although it was undeniably pretty awesome. The best one I had was at Madam Tang’s (Carpenter street). The one at Chong Choon Cafe (Abell Road, have to go before 11am) which Kenny raves about is pretty good but the former is better for me, albeit more expensive.

3. Gong Pia

I love this the most, it’s a snack from Sibu which is basically just toasted sesame bun with marinated meat inside but it tastes soooo heavenly! Definitely a comfort food. This can be found at the Song Kheng Hai food court (stall no. 7 i think, at the back one) located behind Pandungan Road. It’s somewhere behind Bing Coffee.

I ate wayyy too much of this but I couldn’t stop myself T__T Now I can’t get them anywhere at all :(

4. Tomato Mee

This is really awesome as well. Basically it’s fried mee drenched in tomato sauce but why is it so goddamn good?!??! The best one was at Song Kheng Hai as well, it’s three stalls away from the Gong Pia stall.

5. Belacan Mee

This doesn’t look amazing but it’s quite unique. Soft noodles with belacan sauce and sotong, yums! Found this at Song Kheng Hai as well, can’t remember which stall but since I ate the Gong Pia so often, I’m now BFFs with the cute gong pia guy and he recommended this stall and the tomato mee stall to me. Can go ask him wtf

When you’re at this foodcourt, don’t forget to get this great refreshing drink! It’s sugar cane + coconut, an ingenious mix that drink stalls in KL should adopt. From stall 1.

6. Midin

Midin is my favorite vegetable dish in Kuching! It’s a locally grown type of fern that tastes great with belacan. This is the cold midin salad from Bla Bla Bla, also quite good. Bla Bla Bla is a pretty expensive restaurant but has amazing food with HUGE servings, do give it a try!

7. Kueh Chap

This is something I actually didn’t like but was highly recommended. It’s soup with noodles and pork intestines (which I don’t eat, maybe that’s why). It’s ok lah, prefer bak kut teh :P

8. Sio Bee

Ok sorry but totally not a fan of this. It’s like meatball/siu mai and can be found at open air market.

Dessert time!

9. White Lady

Absolutely in love with this!! Also probably the reason why I didn’t lose weight despite walking 4-5 km a day wtf

Basically it’s just a mixture of fruits, ice and evaporated milk with a slice of lemon but it’s realllllllly good. Found the best one at open air market.

10.Matterhorn

Probably the weirdest dessert name ever. It’s like ice kacang, but without kacang, syrup, evaporated milk and red bean…. Actually I guess it’s nothing like ice kacang at all except that it also has ice hahahahha I’m so dumb.

It’s a sour dessert, has fruits, cendol, ice, pandan and lemon. Very refreshing and probably not very fattening :D

Got this from Hui Sing foodcourt, but don’t ask me how to get there. Not walking distance from city center.

11. Umm..cakes?

Got this triple layer chocolate cake from the shop next to Bing at Pandungan, can’t remember the name..Tom’s or something? Anyway it’s pretty orgasmic and quite light, definitely try it!

Strawberry cheese and masam manis kek lapis from that kilang kek lapis across the river. I loved both flavors but couldn’t finish them at all, so don’t buy too much of them!

Actually I think that’s all! It’s a pretty comprehensive list if I must say so myself *pats self

I also went to the Orang Utan rehabilitation center (MUST GO!!!!) and Bako National Park for some more outdoorsy fun but I didn’t get to go to the caves :( My next trip to Sabah and Sarawak will definitely include Mount Kinabalu and the Mulu caves.

I thought to myself that once I finish Teach For Malaysia and if I do want to continue teaching, I will definitely choose to teach in East Malaysia. There’s just this very peculiar charm and something very unique about this place that’s so appealing to me but I don’t really know how to describe it! It seems so different from the rest of Malaysia, but is also essentially very Malaysian.

On that note, Selamat Hari Raya and Happy Merdeka everyone! I’m truly glad to be home for this Merdeka, and hopefully for many more Merdekas to come :)